Longrifle from John Sheets Shop, Staunton, Virginia

Longrifle from John Sheets Shop, Staunton, Virginia


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Longrifle from John Sheets Shop, Staunton, Virginia

In 1826, a young man named John Clemmer from Augusta County,Virginia joined John Sheets and his son Henry Sheets as an apprentice gunsmith. This rifle is the only know example of Clemmer’s work as an apprentice as one can see the work of John and Henry Sheets and John Clemmer on this longrifle. The engraving on the patchbox lid was done by John Clemmer. The engraving on this patchbox matches the engraving of three known longrifle signed by John Clemmer. The stock profile, the unusual set triggers with front screw adjustment and the hardware were all by the hand of John Sheets. I believe the toe plate was engraved by Henry Sheets. The barrel is handforged and was probably made by the noted barrel maker George Grandstaff of Edinburg, Virginia because to the rifling pattern and the large rear sight that is often seen on Grandstaff longrifle (the site has been relocated but original to the barrel). This a large longrifle that is 60″ long with a 44″ barrel. It is in excellent condition with beautiful maple wood and brass hardware. The engraved patchbox on this longrifle is exceptional as John Clemmer learned to engrave from his master, John Sheets!  John Sheets, Henry Sheets and John Clemmer all signed their longrifles. Being unsigned is another indication that this longrifle was a collaboration of these three great gunsmiths. This is a wonderful longrifle, while unsigned, it is accurately be attributed to know makers..


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